One would be hard-pressed to find more guy-oriented novels than those of Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club – here’s a funny guy obsessed with violence and the worst excesses of popular culture. His stories are a kind of sci-fi: they take place in a very near future, a blighted, authoritarian America where alienated dudes do extreme things in search of sensation, any sensation. Like all such dystopian fantasy (and we’re thinking of William Gibson here) they’re as much essay as fiction: they take current preoccupations and exaggerate them, as commentary on where we are now.
So we are very pleased to have a new one. It’s called Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey. (You heard about it here first.)
Rant’s as silly and brilliant as the others: a sort of documentary, told by all his friends and family, about the guy who causes the first massive rabies epidemic in America – a farm boy with a taste for spider bites. Oh, and there’s a new pastime in this new America: it’s called Party Crashing, and it involves a lot of hipster youth driving around in search of cars to smash into (not that far-fetched given recent events in the Peg).
This most powerful nation on earth is ruled by the new I-SEE-U laws, and less successful kids are relegated to the realm of Nighttimers. People in Palahniuk’s world have names like Shot Dunyun and Tina Something, and they talk a slick slang we’d all like to master.
Rant will be on sale in Toronto in May.